Showing in association with Aspire Black Suffolk.
Set in Dakar, Mandabi tells the story of Ibrahim (Makhouredia Gueye) and the transformative effect that a 25,000 franc money order from his nephew in Paris has on his fortunes. Word quickly travels about his new found wealth, while a thousand bureaucratic obstacles stand in the path between him and his money. Ibrahim, preening and scheming, laying bets he has no means to collect, is a superb character study.
But Mandabi is also a sprightly but stiletto-sharp satire on post- independence African nations and the shadow cast by colonialism. Winner of the Grand Jury prize at the Venice Film Festival, former doc worker Ousmane Sembène’s adaptation of his own novella set a new course for African cinema: radical, anti-colonial and proudly independent in its methods.
Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern (Frances McDormand) packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. The third feature film from director Chloé Zhao, Nomadland features real nomads Linda May, Swankie and Bob Wells as Fern’s mentors and comrades in her exploration through the vast landscape of the American West.
Winner of four BAFTAs and three Oscars, Nomadland is a sweeping panoramic portrait of the American nomadic spirit set on the trail of seasonal migratory labor.
Kelly Reichardt once again trains her perceptive and patient eye on the Pacific Northwest, this time evoking an authentically hardscrabble early nineteenth century way of life. A taciturn loner and skilled cook (John Magaro) has traveled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon Territory, though he only finds true connection with a Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee) also seeking his fortune; soon the two collaborate on a successful business, although its longevity is reliant upon the clandestine participation of a nearby wealthy landowner’s prized milking cow.
From this simple premise Reichardt constructs an interrogation of foundational Americana that recalls her earlier triumph Old Joy in its sensitive depiction of male friendship, yet is driven by a mounting suspense all its own. Reichardt again shows her distinct talent for depicting the peculiar rhythms of daily living and ability to capture the immense, unsettling quietude of rural America.
Joel and Ethan Coen’s legendary, Oscar-winning, snowy film noir turns 25 this year and to celebrate we’re bringing it back to the screen for a special one-off performance in a newly remastered version.
In this seven-time Oscar-nominated film, things go terribly awry when small-time Minnesota car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) hires two thugs (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife so he can collect the ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. Once people start dying, the very chipper and very pregnant Police Chief Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand, who won an Oscar for her performance) takes the case. Is she up for this challenge? You betcha!
McDormand also won the BAFTA this year for her performance in Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland, showing 18th, 19th and 24th June.
After a mysterious crash landing, a young boy wakes up alone on an exotic island. He’s being chased by a dark spirit, although it’s unclear whether the spirit means to help or harm the boy. A motorcycle appears, providing safe travel to the boy, and he makes friends with a local songbird who offers guidance. Soon they are off on their own adventure, trying to escape the dark spirit, learn more about the mysterious crash landing, and uncover the true nature of the exotic island.
Written, produced, directed, scored, and animated entirely by award winning Latvian filmmaker Gints Zilbalodis, Away was beautifully crafted over a period of more than three years, developed from a previous short Zilbalodis had been working on. The story, told without dialogue over a series of breathtaking backgrounds, is equally inspired by reality, dreams, and waking fantasies.
Experiential cinema in its purest form, Gunda chronicles the unfiltered lives of a mother pig, a flock of chickens, and a herd of cows with masterful intimacy. Using stark, transcendent black and white cinematography and the farm’s ambient soundtrack, director Victor Kossakowsky invites the audience to slow down and experience life as his subjects do, taking in their world with a magical patience and an other worldly perspective. Gunda asks us to meditate on the mystery of animal consciousness, and reckon with the role humanity plays in it.
Where his prior film, the acclaimed epic, Aquarela, was a reminder of the fragility of human tenure on earth, in Gunda, master filmmaker Kossakovsky reminds us that we share our planet with billions of other animals and movingly recalibrates our moral universe, reminding us of the inherent value of life and the mystery of all animal consciousness, including our own.
Anthony Hopkins won the BAFTA and the Oscar for his role as Anthony, the defiant 80-year-old living with Alzheimers and rejecting the carers that his daughter, Anne, encouragingly introduces. Yet help is also becoming a necessity for Anne; she can’t make daily visits anymore and Anthony’s grip on reality is unravelling.
As we experience the ebb and flow of his memory, how much of his own identity and past can Anthony cling to? How does Anne cope as she grieves the loss of her father, while he still lives and breathes before her?
The simplicity of Florian Zeller’s screenplay is in its ability to mislead without the audience feeling misled. As each new scene unfolds we experience the same unsettling displacement paradox as Anthony, always searching for some small thing to anchor us to some kind of reality. It’s a highly accomplished work, emotionally fulfilling and replete with questions.
During the 2020 lockdown in the UK Brit director Edgar Wright curated a collection of fantasy double features which he has kindly given us permission to programme.
We start with Mike Hodges' Get Carter and Shane Meadows' Dead Man's Shoes. A quintessential British pairing if ever there was one! Hodges' gangster classic and Meadows' post-mellenium drama are big-screen brothers that make for compelling viewing.
A vicious London gangster, Jack Carter, travels to Newcastle for his brother's funeral. He begins to suspect that his brother's death was not an accident and sets out to follow a complex trail of lies…
Dead Man's Shoes
Richard has always protected his simple-minded little brother Anthony. When Richard leaves the rural village where they have grown up to join the army, Anthony is taken in by Sonny, a controlling and vicious local drug dealer and his gang of lads and Anthony becomes the gang's pet and plaything. Seven years later, Richard returns to settle the score. One by one, he hunts down each member of the gang and executes them in increasingly elaborate ways as flashbacks reveal the extent to which his brother suffered at their hands. Dead Man's Shoes is a genre-defying film blending horror, supernatural elements, comedy, and social realism.
Bassam Tariq’s visceral directorial debut, co-written with Riz Ahmed, finds a British-Pakistani rapper’s life spiralling out of control when, on the cusp of success, he succumbs to a debilitating illness.
Although his cutting lyrics speak provocatively about identity politics, it is not until Zed (Ahmed) returns home after two years on tour that he is called by his real name: Zaheer. But it is his decreasing mobility that brings both focus and fragmentation – memories and hallucinations merge to the beat of Qawwali music and are haunted by fervent apparitions of a masked figure – conjuring the unspoken spectre of Partition, which looms large in his father’s unspoken words. Both a paean to the importance of cultural heritage and a sharply observed reflection on muscle memory, the richness of Tariq’s achievement lies in the details of this heady mosaic.
As part of its celebration of Robert Altman the BFI have restored the director’s opus, Nashville, in a new 4K remaster which we have pleasure in presenting this July.
This cornerstone of 1970s American moviemaking from Robert Altman is a panoramic view of the country’s political and cultural landscapes, set in the nation’s music capital. Nashville weaves the stories of twenty-four characters—from country star to wannabe to reporter to waitress—into a cinematic tapestry that is equal parts comedy, tragedy, and musical. Many members of the astonishing cast wrote their own songs and performed them live on location, which lends another layer to the film’s quirky authenticity. Altman’s ability to get to the heart of American life via its eccentric byways was never put to better use than in this grand, rollicking triumph, which barrels forward to an unforgettable conclusion.
New York in the 90s: After leaving graduate school to pursue her dream of becoming a writer, Joanna (Margaret Qualley) gets hired as an assistant to Margaret (Sigourney Weaver), the stoic and old- fashioned literary agent of J. D. Salinger. Fluctuating between poverty and glamour, she spends her days in a plush, wood-panelled office - where dictaphones and typewriters still reign and agents doze off after three-martini lunches - and her nights in a sink-less Brooklyn apartment with her socialist boyfriend.
Joanna’s main task is processing Salinger’s voluminous fan mail, but as she reads the heart-wrenching letters from around the world, she becomes reluctant to send the agency’s impersonal standard letter and impulsively begins personalising the responses. The results are both humorous and moving, as Joanna, while using the great writer’s voice, begins to discover her own.
Chino Moya’s future vision is an otherworldly journey through a Europe in decline, Undergods is a collection of darkly humorous, fantasy tales about failed societies and doomed fortune in which a series of men see their worlds fall apart through a visit from an other-worldly stranger.
Set to an original synth score, featuring ‘80s electronica, Undergods journeys through disparate eras and realities fusing failed 20th Century utopias and 21st Century Ikea nightmares with a singular, Kafka-esque vision of its morally bankrupt landscapes.
Director Moya weaves these stories together to present a bleak indictment of modern middle class life imbued with a dark humour reminiscent of Ben Wheatley and Peter Strickland. As recent times bring disarray and isolation, this cautionary tale of societal collapse becomes ever more timely.
Grieving for the death of her sister, Héloise has returned from a convent to her home in Brittany, where her mother has commissioned Marianne, an artist, to secretly paint her portrait while pretending to be her mourning companion. Previous painters have failed in the task as Héloise has refused to pose, aware that the picture will be sent to a man to whom she has been arranged to marry against her wishes. The two women gradually connect, and a subtle seduction of stolen glances, touches and conversation gives way to burning desire. A delicate, beautifully acted period drama that explores what it means to see and to truly be seen.
Four friends, all teachers at various stages of middle age, are stuck in a rut. Unable to share their passions either at school or at home, they embark on an audacious experiment from an obscure philosopher: to see if a constant level of alcohol in their blood will help them find greater freedom and happiness. At first they each discover a new- found zest, but as the gang pushes their experiment further, issues that have been simmering for years come to a head and the men are faced with a choice: reckon with their behaviour or continue on the same course.
The film won the 2021 Oscar for Best International Feature. Director Thomas Vinterberg’s spry script, co-written with regular collaborator Tobias Lindholm, uses his bold premise to explore the euphoria and pain of an unbridled life. Playing a once brilliant but now world-weary shell of a man, the ever surprising Mads Mikkelsen delivers a fierce and touching performance.
Followed by a Q&A live on-stage with producer Neil McGlone, director Tim Curtis and the location's owners, Kevin Smith and Taff Gillingham.
The First World War may have been fought over one hundred years ago but in rural Suffolk at Akenham, just outside Ipswich, the battles and tedium of trench warfare are still being played out.
For nearly twenty years, a farm on the outskirts of Ipswich in Suffolk has been a Mecca for filmmakers wanting to recreate realistic war-scenes for their films, television dramas, documentaries, music videos and adverts.
Millions of cinemagoers and TV viewers around the world have watched First World War stories of death, destruction, stoicism and heartbreak unfold before their very eyes, in scenes that have been filmed here.
High profile productions such as DOWNTON ABBEY, JOURNEY'S END, PRIVATE PEACEFUL and the famous Sainsbury’s Christmas Truce television advert have filmed defining scenes at this custom built and atmospheric network of First World War trenches, along with other productions as diverse as Blue Peter and the Great British Bake Off.
Sufflolk based filmmaker, Tim Curtis (LIFE ON THE DEBEN, STANLEY'S WAR) has joined forces with Neil McGlone (from The Riverside in Woodbridge) to produce a “behind-the-scenes” documentary film about the trenches facility in Suffolk. The film talks to the location’s creators and owners, Taff Gillingham and Kevin Smith of Khaki Devil, about how the system came about and the filming that has taken place here over the last 17 years. Anecdotes of famous films, actors and war stories help give the viewer a unique glimpse of life behind the scenes.
The documentary's script has been written by another Suffolk resident, Jonathan Ruffle, the creator of the BBC Radio 4 drama series TOMMIES.
The film is being made to help support local cinemas in Suffolk during the pandemic and is being given to them free of charge.
COVID-19 has impacted the film industry and brought film production at the trenches almost to a halt, but it is hoped this valuable Suffolk filmmaking resource will survive.
AMMONITE is directed by BAFTA nominee, Francis Lee (God's Own Country) and stars Oscar winner Kate Winslet and Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan.
Set on the Southern English coastline of Lyme Regis, Ammonite follows fossil hunter Mary Anning (Winslet) and a young woman (Ronan) as they develop an intense relationship, altering both of their lives for ever.
The film recently screened at Toronto Film Festival to universal 4 and 5 star reviews and will not be released officially in the UK until towards the end of 2020 or early 2021.
The Ipswich Film Theatre are proud to present The Haunted Hotel for its theatrical premiere. Members of the production team and cast will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A on 23rd July. Early booking is advised.
Produced by Ipswich-based FILM Suffolk and shot at the historic Great White Horse Hotel on Tavern Street, The Haunted Hotel will take you on a journey through eight spooky tales spanning 150 years in the life of a very unusual establishment:
A put-upon 1960s hotel manageress struggles to train a hapless new addition to her ghostly entourage. A gang of ageing
thieves hole up in the derelict hotel, unaware of what’s in store. An older gentleman returns to the hotel for an anniversary date with a twist. A new hotel chambermaid is unnerved to discover the rooms have a habit of rearranging themselves. A young couple plan a secret tryst at the hotel until ghostly forces intervene. An eccentric woman arrives at the hotel with a plan to prove that spectres are real. The young Charles Dickens struggles with his nerves while staying at the hotel in the 1830s. A writer turns his hotel room into a devilish den of creativity.
By turns spooky, sentimental, humorous and horrifying, this collection recalls
the likes of M.R. James, Tales of the Unexpected and the Amicus Anthologies of the 1960s and 70s. Created as a labour of love by FILM Suffolk with the goal of connecting and showcasing talent from the region, each ghostly yarn has been spun by a local writer, produced and directed by East Anglian filmmakers and features a host of acting talent from across Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex.
Despite being made on a less-than- shoestring budget, the film picked up several awards at film festivals in the UK, US and Canada and subsequently found global distribution with Amazon Prime.
The 1980 classic live-action adaptation from legendary director Robert Altman stars the late and always hilarious Robin Williams as the spinach eating sailor, Popeye.
Looking for the father (Ray Walston) who deserted him as a baby, a sailor named Popeye journeys to the port town of Sweethaven. Popeye befriends an assortment of eccentrics and falls in love with Olive Oyl (Shelley Duvall), who already has a suitor, the bully Bluto (Paul L. Smith). Popeye also discovers an abandoned baby, Swee’Pea, whom he raises as his own. But when the spurned Bluto kidnaps Olive and the child, Popeye takes action, with the help of his magic spinach.
Claudia Weill's celebrated film returns to Ipswich Film Theatre for two special performances courtesy of Park Circus.
One of the first fictional efforts by former documentary maker Claudia Weill, Girlfriends focuses on a pair of roommates, Susan Weinblatt and Anne Munroe, played by Melanie Mayron and Anita Skinner. Anne gets married, leaving the plump, insecure Susan alone for virtually the first time in her life. A mild flirtation with a rabbi leads to a whole new life for Susan when she becomes a portrait photographer for Jewish weddings and bar mitzvahs. Claudia Weill wrote the (presumed) autobiographical screenplay with Vicki Polon. Filmed in New Jersey, Girlfriends was an expansion of a short subject subsidized by the American Film Institute.
Based on the bestselling book by Naoki Higashida, The Reason I Jump is an immersive cinematic exploration of neurodiversity through the experiences of nonspeaking autistic people from around the world. The film blends Higashida’s revelatory descriptions of his autism, written when he was just 13, with intimate portraits of five remarkable young people. It opens a window into an intense and overwhelming, but often joyful, sensory universe.
Acutely observed moments in the lives of each of the characters are connected by passages from Naoki’s writing, in which a young Japanese boy journeys through an epic landscape, gradually discovering what his autism means to him, how his perception of the world differs, and why he acts in the way he does: the reason he jumps.
Georges (Jean Dujardin), is a man who has one ambition - to possess the finest jacket in the world at the expense of all others. With the relationship with his wife in tatters, Georges retreats to a remote town where he purchases the deerskin jacket of his dreams. Along with the stylish jacket he has just acquired, he also gets hold of an old video camera. This ignites a new interest as he moves from couture to auteur. Aided by aspiring editor Denise (Adèle Haenel), he sets out to create his masterwork.
However, his ever closer relationship with his deerskin jacket starts to take him down a darker path that he continues to document on his camera and which Denise continues to sew together into a film. Laugh out loud funny and gloriously unexpected, the odyssey on which Georges has embarked leaves him guilty of many things, not least an excess of killer style...
Becoming closer to his dream of leading a normal life, a professional safecracker agrees to do a job for the mafia. Michael Mann’s super influential minimalist neo-noir looks as authentic and original today as the day it did in 1981.
Mann used real thieves as technical advisors on the film and that Tangerine Dream soundtrack is a joy. Donald Thorin’s moody and brilliant cinematography seals the deal.
When Detroit autoworkers Zeke Brown (Richard Pryor), Jerry Bartowski (Harvey Keitel) and Smokey James (Yaphet Kotto) decide to rob their own union, they are initially disappointed by the relatively small haul. However, upon closer inspection, the three amateur thieves discover that they have made off with something potentially much more valuable than money: the union’s ledger, filled with bogus figures and links to organised crime. Should they blackmail the union or go to the authorities?
Pretty In Pink
Howard Deutch’s bittersweet Pretty in Pink is back for its 35th Anniversary and kicks off our John Hughes double feature.
Andie (Molly Ringwald) is an outcast at her Chicago high school, hanging out either with her older boss (Annie Potts), who owns the record store where she works, or her quirky classmate Duckie (Jon Cryer), who has a crush on her. When one of the rich and popular kids at school, Blane (Andrew McCarthy), asks Andie out, it seems too good to be true.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
The movie that made skipping school, lying to parents and beating up the school principal cool, funny and gosh darn it even touching, is back for its 35th Anniversary and closes our John Hughes double feature! Arguably Hughes’ best film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off remains a comedy classic whose story is always relevant, never redundant. That conflict of ideals between teen and ‘rent, boredom and rebellion, achievement and quick gain, have never been so perfectly blended.